Preview: Well, look who it is — Cavs face C’s


AmicoHoops

Cavs match up with hungry and improving Celtics for first time since last season’s playoffs.

Cavaliers (15-7) vs. Celtics (14-10)

SITE: TD Garden, Boston

TIPOFF: 7:30 p.m. EST

TV: FOX Sports Ohio

RADIO: Cavaliers Radio Network, WTAM 1100-AM (Flagship)

PROJECTED STARTERS

Cavaliers: C Timofey Mozgov; PF Kevin Love; SF LeBron James; SG J.R. Smith; PG Matthew Dellavedova.

Celtics: C Jared Sullinger; PF Amir Johnson; SF Jae Crowder; SG Avery Bradley; PG Isaiah Thomas.

INJURY REPORT

Cavaliers: SG J.R. Smith (illness) questionable; PG Kyrie Irving (knee) out.

Celtics: PG Marcus Smart (leg) out; SG R.J. Hunter (hip) questionable.

NOTES/THOUGHTS

This marks the first time the Cavaliers have played the Celtics since last season’s first-round playoff sweep. … So yes, Kevin Love meets Kelly Olynyk again. Although Love has indicated he isn’t all that upset with Olynyk, who ripped Love’s shoulder from the socket and caused Love to miss the Cavs’ run to the Finals. … But this truly is a new season, and the Celtics really seem to be benefiting from their experience vs. the Cavs. … Celtics oach Brad Stevens isn’t getting the same amount of credit as last year, but he really is doing a fantastic job yet again. … The Celtics have won four of five, their lone loss coming Friday in double-overtime against the Warriors. … So you could say the Celtics are almost as responsible for the Bucks beating the Warriors the next night as the Bucks. … Isaiah Thomas has always caused problems for the Cavs in reserve and now he’s starting. … On the bright side for the Cavs, Thomas is indeed starting (at least until Marcus Smart returns) and that messes with the C’s depth. … In theory, anyway. … Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are coming off a 35-point win at Orlando. … A lot of eyes will be on Timofey Mozgov. He broke out of a slump by shooting 8-of-9 vs. the Magic. … Iman Shumpert, meanwhile, was 5-of-7 from the floor for 14 points in his season debut. … It took all of about two minutes to see the major impact Shumpert makes on defense, too. … Matthew Dellavedova is having a career year as he fills in for Kyrie Irving. Delly will need a strong game against Thomas, that’s for sure. … Not surprisingly, LeBron James is also off to a magnificent start. If he gets enough help, the Cavs will start beating hungry teams like the Celtics on the road consistently. … Right now, the Cavs are 6-6 on the road. … The Cavs will don their wine road jerseys. …  Jeff Phelps and I will have tons more stuff on the new episode of FOX Sports Ohio’s “Cavaliers in the Paint” on Tuesday at 6 p.m. EST. See you there.